Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Gawker Media’s Nick Denton Sells Another Blog and Puts Another One on the Block

Gawker Media’s Nick Denton continues to shrink his blog empire: He has sold off to Consumers Union, the nonprofit that publishes Consumer Reports. And he is in talks to sell

Denton wouldn’t comment on the sale of Consumerist, an advocacy site with attitude that he put on the block last month. And he would only confirm that Defamer, his attempt to break into Hollywood coverage, is for sale.

But I’m told that Consumerist may have fetched something in the “mid-six figure range,” and that a logical buyer for Defamer would be BuzzNet, the pop culture blog network that picked up Denton’s Idolator music site earlier this year.

When the Defamer sale is complete, Denton will have nine blogs left, down from a high of 15. He has also laid off staff, reduced compensation and is trying to force vendors to cut their fees–and generally followed most of the playbook he published this fall in his “doom-mongering” memo.

Last month, Denton boasted about record revenues. But he says that December sales are poor–as they have been across much of the Web world.

UPDATE: Here’s a comment from Nick, who objects to my use of the verb “shrink” in my first paragraph. He suggests “prune” as an alternative: “The six sites we’ve put up for sale or merged this year represent about a tenth of our total page views. Our core properties–Gizmodo, Gawker, Kotaku, Jezebel, Lifehacker, io9, Fleshbot, Jalopnik and Deadspin–make up for that in about two months of growth.” And he notes that Gawker Media pageviews are up 67 percent, to 259 million, in November, according to Quantcast.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik